Supported by
Teach First
Herbert Smith Freehills

UCL Doctoral Skills



1. PhD Students undertaking Enterprise Training at UCL

npComplete, is a company started by two UCL Computer Science PhDs, Dan Hulme and Alistair Moore. Their company (now trading as Satalia) is explained in the following film. 

Click here to view the clip.

Essentially, Dan and Alastair are a model for how the enterprise skills programme works among early-career researchers. Their interest in entrepreneurship was low to start with but they took an opportunity to take an elective course in "New Technology Ventures" at London Business School, with support from Advances made possible by Roberts funding. They actually met on the course, having been in the same department at UCL for over two years but never having connected before. They formed the idea for the company, which was based on part of Dan's PhD thesis, when Alastair made some keen observations about how it could be deployed in a commercial setting. They went on to take further training through Advances and eventually emerged from UCL with the support of a Bright Ideas Award in 2009. The company now has activities in the US as well as the UK and is currently negotiating its first round of proper venture capital funding. Alastair commented: 

"The provision of business training at UCL has been excellent - this was one of the main reasons for choosing UCL for my postgraduate study. Electives undertaken with LBS and more generally a strong program of workshops, presentations and networking events have been invaluable. Moreover the 'culture' of enterprise that is spearheaded by the Advances team has made UCL a vibrant and exciting environment to start my own business and provided the necessary support to make it a reality."

2. EngD Student undertaking the UCL GRADschool Residential Programme at UCL

"The real benefit of the programme for me whilst at university was in realising how much professional skills (such as goal setting and time management) could augment and accelerate my research capabilities. Ongoing engagement with the courses and facilitation team helped me to continuously build on these throughout university. A personal example of this was in setting demanding targets early in my EngD programme, far beyond those recommended by my academic supervisor, and still managing to submit my thesis on time and to produce a number of notable outcomes that remain on my CV today. The benefit of the programme beyond university for me was in seeking employment plus also on-the-job performance where I can easily display a range professional competencies in addition to solid academic achievements. This has helped me considerably to build valuable connections and to open new doors in my career path."